Cowboy names first galloped onto the scene in the 1950s and 1960s, along with the cool Western TV shows and movies of the era.  A lot of these were Old Testament names that had not been heard much since, well, since the real Old West.  Some of the early choices that launched a trend that’s still going strong:

ADAM – – Bonanza

BARNABY — Wagon Train


BEAUWells Fargo, Maverick




CALEB  — Seven Brides for Seven Brothers


EPHRAIMSeven Brides

FLINT — Wagon Train

GIDEONSeven Brides

JARROD — Big Valley

JASON — Wanted: Dead or Alive; Here Come the Brides

JEBWells Fargo

JED – – Rawhide; How The West Was Won

JEREMY — Here Come the Brides

JOSH — Wanted: Dead or Alive

JOSHUA — Here Come the Brides

LUCAS — Rifleman

LUKEHow the West Was Won

MATT — Gunsmoke

SETH — Wagon Train


SIMON — Rawhide

ZEBHow The West Was Won

Females and their names were in short supply in the Old West, split between hardy pioneer women and dance hall girls. Their names help you tell which was which:

ALICESeven Brides for Seven Brothers

BELLEWells Fargo

BIDDIE — Here Come the Brides

CANDY –Here Come the Brides

DORCASSeven Brides

EVEHow The West Was Won

JULIEHow The West Was Won

KITTY — Gunsmoke

LIZASeven Brides

MARTHASeven Brides

MILLYSeven Brides

SARAHSeven Brides

Tomorrow: Names for thoroughly modern cowbabies.

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7 Responses to “COWBOY (& COWGIRL) NAMES”

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LyndsayJenness Says:

March 23rd, 2009 at 10:52 am

Great blog, I love cowboy names! Something about Beau, Jeb, Jed and Zed is just so charming. I like the girls names, too, but they don’t really ring “cowgirl” to me.

Lola Says:

March 23rd, 2009 at 11:03 am

I have guy cousins with some of these names! (Matt, Seth, Lucas, Joshua). I adore Simon (and have one) and Barnaby! Caleb & Ephraim are lovely, as well. From the girls, Alice, Kitty (for Katharine), Martha & Milly(for several different names on my lists) are absolutel favorites!

Nice to know, not all “cowboys” have rough & tumble monikers. 🙂

Kayt Says:

March 23rd, 2009 at 6:37 pm

A lot of these don’t sound particularly cowgirl-ish to me. I think Odessa, Cassidy, and Maggie sound more cowgirly.

Lissa Says:

March 23rd, 2009 at 9:11 pm

I love so many of the names on this list! I have a Julie, Alice, and am considering a Milly. It is such a cute name, but I’m not sure about the real name for her because I’m not big on Millicent or Camilla. Any suggestions? I also have Joshua, we call him Josh, and Seth as a middle name. I really like the name Barnaby, but I’m not sure if I would use it as a name for my child.

This post was so interesting. All of yours are!

Paige Says:

May 27th, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Lissa – another name that I adore that could be shortened to Milly is Amelia, if you’re still looking for something.

Daggerin Says:

June 22nd, 2009 at 2:25 pm

I have your site bookmarked and your feed link saved. I should be good to go now.

fraukeiser Says:

July 27th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Who forgot Annie? C’mon. Annie Oakley? What about Jane? (Calamity Jane.) Seeing how short the girl’s list is, someone really dropped the gun-slinging yet frilly ball!

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